'Armed' PAOK owner invades pitch, confronts referee after late confusion

Paok president Ivan Savvidis

Paok president Ivan Savvidis

PAOK's owner, businessman Ivan Savvidis, came on the field twice and was accompanied by bodyguards.

Savvidis marched onto the pitch with images showing him appearing to be carrying a gun in a hip holster, and PAOK later issued a statement.

Fernando Varela thought he had scored a late victor for PAOK, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

Ivan Savvides, one of Greece's richest men, walked onto the pitch during an interruption in the match on Sunday night in Thessaloniki when referee Georgios Kominis disallowed a goal from PAOK's Fernando Varela in the 89th minute.

The referee, however, awarded the goal which was first ruled as offside.

Paok president Ivan Savvidis
Greek soccer coach brings a gun on field after disagreeing with call

According to Greek broadcaster Skai TV, police have an arrest warrant out for Savvidis and four other people, but the warrant relates only to the match being abandoned and not any firearm offences. Adding to the widespread confusion, there were claims that the referee, Giorgos Kominis, had actually allowed the goal.

AEK's players left the field over concerns for their safety and the match was abandoned hours later.

A win for PAOK would've seen them cute the gap between themselves and their opponents at the top of the Greek Superleague, but it seemed unlikely to happen.

The owner of a leading Greek football club led a pitch invasion to confront a referee while apparently armed with a gun, writes Stephen Barry.

PAOK's previous home game - against another title rival, Olympiakos - never started after Olympiakos coach Oscar Garcia was hit in the face by a cash register paper roll.

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